Friday, February 29, 2008

Philmont Trip June16-July 2, 2007

"Tooth of Time"

One of my last posts was right before I left for Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimmeron, New Mexico with Tucker and his scout troop. I decided to post some photos of the trip and leave a quick synopsis of that adventure...

I wasn't able to blog while I was there, or I would have. But I did "write" a journal. Yes, it is hard to believe that I did actually write and I did it almost everyday. I went back and reread all of my journal entries the other night. Let's just say it was a very interesting read for me.

We headed to Colorado Springs, Colorado for a few days to acclimate to the change in altitude. West Chester is about 600 ft. elevation, Colorado Springs is around 5,000 feet and Philmont Base camp is about 6,600 ft. elevation. As you can imagine, we definitely noticed the change in Colorado. Garden of the Gods is full of hiking trails and I did notice a difference in my breathing while we were there.

Our sight seeing included riding a Cog Rail Train up to the top of Pikes Peak. It's about an hour and 15 minutes up the mountain. You are encouraged to drink plenty of water since altitude sickness is caused by dehydration. So, drink water we did. What they don't tell you about is the physiological change that occurs to your body during the ascent up the mountain. Let's just say your bladder shrinks considerable, like to the size of a pea. Needless to say, there were many, many people on that train that were on the verge of embarrassment by the time our train finally got to the top of the mountain. I was one of them. There was snow on top of Pikes Peak and we did engage in a small snow ball fight. The air is definitely "thinner" up there. It was also, cold, cold, cold!!!!

I would have to say that the Garden of the Gods was the most spectacular sight I have ever seen. We spent several hours in the park, hiking and climbing rocks. I can't say enough about the beauty of the area. It's a "must see" for anyone!

Upon arrival at Philmont on June 19, we were put through a series of information gathering sessions before we actually started hiking on the 20th. I will say that during that first night, I wondered what in the devil I was doing there. Traveling with testosterone overloaded boys is quite the challenge. It's safe to say that if I would have had transport, I would have probably driven straight to the airport. But I did not have transportation, so I stayed.

Before we left base camp on the 20th, we had to weigh our backpacks. My pack weighed in at 53 pounds. YOWSA! Needless to say, we had to redistribute some weight. I ended up with about 43 pounds. Tucker's was about the same, but he only weighed about 95 pounds at the time.

The first few days on the trail were very challenging. There were times when I wondered what I was doing and why I was doing it. But I pushed through those moments and I'm glad I did. We did so many fun things; pole climbing, rock climbing, black powder rifle shooting, 3-D archery, conservation, fly fishing and panning for gold. We did all of that and were only on the south part of the Ranch. Philmont is approximately 137,000 acres of land. So there is much more to see and do. Our entire trek was a little over 70 miles when you do all the side hikes.

I was surprised at the unspoiled splendor of the entire ranch. The scouts do an amazing job maintaining Philmont. It really was beautiful. They say when you leave Philmont, if you turn around and look back, then you will return some day. Those first few days, I would have never thought I would look back. But as we drove away from the ranch, I couldn't help but to gaze back at the "Tooth of Time" and sigh. Yes, beautiful, peaceful, tranquil and unspoiled. I would like to return with Tucker's troop in the summer of 2009. Hopefully they will have a spot for me.

Enjoy the few photos that I culled out of the more than 700 that I took:
Philmont Dedication
These properties are donated and dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America for the purpose of perpetuating faith, self-reliance, integrity and freedom - principles used to build this great country by the American Pioneer.So that these future citizens may, through thoughtful adult guidance and by the inspiration of nature, visualize and form a code of living to diligently maintain these high ideals and our proper destiny.
Waite Phillips - December 1941

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Photos of the girls

I got brave and finally took the girls to get their photos done by a professional. I go to Laura Laine Photography.... . I love what she does. She did our family portrait a few years ago. We plan on going back to her for another family photo, this one will include Amelia. This is a montage that she just put together today...I LOVE IT!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Worst blogger ever.....

So, I'm back...or sort of. I started looking at my blog again. You know how you get away from something and you want to go back to it. But, you've been away for so long, you don't know how to get back??? Well that's me. I got away and I didn't know how to get started again.

I started looking at old posts that I never published and I decided to post them. This one is right after I took Tucker to his Freshman Orientation for high school. We stand beside this tree every year and take pictures. It's kind of like a measuring stick. This photo was taken on August 14, 2007.

He's hitting the "teen years" with full force. Hold's gonna be a wild ride! My heart aches at times when I think of his future. He is still determined to go to West Point. That has been his dream since he was in second/third grade. Yes, hard to believe, but it's still his dream. Then someone sends me a link to a youtube video and s0 many emotions start to flow. So these were my thoughts after that day of orientation and then seeing this music video.

Here's the old post:

Looking at my heart...

I've seen the movie (3X), bought the video and still, it brings me to my knees. I can not watch any part of it without crying as Amelia cries....puddles of tears that only a mother can wipe away....

To my knees, hands held high, head bowed low...I am not worthy! Praise the Lord for Grace...

Mary and my Savior, Lord Jesus,
Be my guardian as I watch my son prepare for a life of service to this country that he loves with his whole heart. Prepare my heart for what he will and must endure to be the keeper of all that we cherish as Americans and "Free People".

Lord, prepare him for what lies ahead. For all that you can see and that I can not. For all that I can prepare him for and that only you know he will face. Lord, he is my light...all that you were to Mary. Lord, open his heart and his mind to you and the life eternal that only you offer. My heart is in your hands...he is my heart, just as you were Mary's heart.

You'll need to cut and paste this into your browser. It's Brad Paisley and Sara Evans and clips from "Passion of the Christ".